Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Pickleball: Rules, Court Dimensions, Terminology, How To Play & Equipment

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Are you tired of playing the same sports all over again and again?

Well, don’t you worry guys!

Here we bring you a brand new sport that is quite famous in the U.S. which is none other than – ‘PICKLEBALL’.

Talking about pickleball, it is an inclusive, and accessible sport that is quite above all the social and economic hurdles. There are several staples of playing this sport. Surprisingly, most of the top players have no past racquet or paddle sport experience. One thing that you must know is that pickleball is easy to begin but difficult to master. Grab a paddle and give it a try!

It was back in 1965 when three fathers Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum whose kids were bored with their usual summertime activities created this game. Well, with the change in time even this sport has evolved a lot. It is quite popular in the US and Canada. This game has been growing internationally as well, with many European and Asian countries adding courts.

What is Pickleball?

The term Pickleball refers to a sport played with a paddle and a wiffle ball. Generally, this sport is played on a badminton-size court with a tennis-style net. Pickleball is a sport that is mostly enjoyed by people of all age groups and athletic abilities. The reason behind this is nothing but the straightforward rules and the ease of play.

The best thing about this sport is that it is not very expensive and is widely played in various places such as community centers, athletic clubs, school gyms, fire stations, and local parks. Talking further about this sport, it is a fine combination of badminton and tennis. With sports like racquetball and tennis, there has been an increase in the popularity of pickleball. In recent times, a number of pickleball courts have been built, especially among the senior communities. 

Pickleball Rules

Let’s look into some of the basic rules of the game.

  • First of all, pickleball is a sport that can be played as both singles and doubles. But, mostly it is played as doubles. 
  • No matter if you’re playing as singles or doubles, the size of the playing area will always be the same. 

Serving 

  • The paddle’s head must never be above the highest part of the wrist at contact. 
  • When the ball is struck, the server’s feet must not touch the court or any other things outside the imaginary. 
  • When the ball is struck, the arm of a server must always be moving in an upward arc.
  • Always remember, only one serve attempt is allowed for per server. 
  • The paddle contact with the ball should never be made above the waist level.
  • Make sure that the serve is made diagonally crosscourt. Not only that, it must also land within the confines of the opposite diagonal court.
  • There are times when a drop serve is also permitted in which none of the above elements apply. 

Scoring

Only the serving team is eligible to score the points

Generally, the games are played to 11 points and are won by 2. 

A tournament game could be of  15 or 21 and could be won by 2.

Service Sequence

  • No matter the side, a first serve is always made from the right/even court. 
  • Whenever a first server loses its serve, then it is now up to the partner to serve from the correct side of the court. 
  • Until the players commit a fault, both the players on the serving doubles teams have the right to serve and also score the points. 
  • Suppose they score a point then the server has to switch the side and the server will initiate the next serve from the left/odd court.
  • With a successive point, the serve now continues to switch back and forth until a fault is committed and the first server loses the serve.
  • If a service has been shifted to the opposition server, then the first serve is from the right/even court. And again the players of the team have the opportunity to serve and score points until their team commits two faults.
  • The second server can continue serving until his/her team commits a fault and has to give the opportunity of serving to the opposite team.
  • When the game has just started off, only one new partner of the serving team has the chance to serve before faulting, after which the service passes to the receiving team
  • Last but not least, In the singles, the servers mostly serve from the  right/even court when his or her score is even. Well, this changes to the left/odd when the score is odd.

Pickleball Court Dimensions

Image Source: https://pickleballfix.com/pickleball-court-dimensions/

A pickleball court is quite similar to the overall size of a badminton court. This court must always be of 20’ x 44’ for both singles and doubles play. Talking further about it, here the net is always lowered from the standard badminton height to 36”  on the ends whereas it is 34’ in the middle.

The best thing about this sport is that it is not very expensive and is widely played in various places such as community centres, athletic clubs, school gyms, fire stations, and local parks. Talking further about this sport, it is a fine combination of badminton and tennis. With sports like racquetball and tennis, there has been an increase in the popularity of pickleball. In recent times, a number of pickleball courts have been built, especially among the senior communities. 

While you’re laying out the court, it is advisable to allow adequate space outside the end and side lines for player movement. For this specific reason, we advise you to have the full court that measures at least 24’ x 54.’ Suppose if you have more space, then you can opt for a 30′ x 60′ space that is considered to be an ideal size. This particular size would allow the player tp play in the most athletic level

How To Play Pickleball

The Serve

It is quite obvious that the game starts with a serve. Here, the player who is standing in the right service court is the one who serves first. No matter if the match is at the beginning or at a side-out, the player who is on the right service court is the one who will serve first. Prior to serving, the player must always call the score. 

The serve must always clear the net and should not land in the kitchen. There are times when the ball hits the net but still doesn’t land in the right serving court. Such a situation is known as the let. Here the serve has an opportunity to serve again until he/she either serves correctly, hits the ball into the net, or hits the ball out of bounds. Suppose a ball does hit the net, but lands in the kitchen then it is known as a fault. 

The Return of Serve

The player who is returning the serve must always let the ball bounce before returning it to the opposing team’s side in either service court.

Kitchen

A kitchen is one of the most essential aspects of pickleball and it is also known as the non-volley zone. A player must never hit the ball while he/she is standing in the kitchen unless the ball has already bounced on their side. A player must never step into the kitchen to volley the pickleball. Last but not least, players should not enter the kitchen on a volley even if their momentum carries them into the zone.

The Double Bounce

One of the most important rules of pickleball is the double bounce run. According to this rule, the ball must bounce once on each side before either team may start volleying the ball in the air.

Faults

Any mistakes made in pickleball are known as faults. The most common mistake made in the pickleballs are as follows:

  • Suppose a ball hits the net, it is a fault. 
  • Any play that steps into the kitchen for hitting a volley is considered to be a fault. 
  • If someone hits the ball out of the bounds, it is considered to be a fault.

Pickleball Scoring

Only serving team is eligible to score the points

  • Generally, the games are played to 11 points and are won by 2. 
  • A tournament game could be of  15 or 21 and could be won by 2.

Pickleball Terminology

Image Source: https://www.dimensions.com/collection/pickleball

Backhand

The term backhand refers to the stroke that is made on the non-dominant side. When the back of your hand is facing the net as you hit the ball is known to be a backhand hit. 

Drink Shot

It refers to a soft and controlled shot that is made to move downward shortly just after it clears the net and lands into a no-volley zone. 

Ace

The term Ace refers to a serve that is not returned by your opponent.

Dead Ball

A dead ball is called after a fault.

Cross-Court

The court is diagonally opposite your court. When a player is hitting the ball, he/she must hit the ball cross-court to the opponent. 

Drop Shot

It refers to a groundstroke shot that falls short of the opponent’s position.

Tip

The term Tip refers to a slow-moving shot that can be an effective weapon that you must add to your game.

Double Bounce

A double bounce is when the ball bounces twice on one side of the court. It is also considered to be a fault. 

Groundstroke

It is just made after the ball bounces off the ground.

Volley

A volley is something that is hit in the air, during a rally, before the ball has hit the ground.

Lob

It refers to a shot that returns the ball as high and deep as possible.

Upcoming Pickleball Tournament

Pacific Northwest Classic Pickleball Open

July 28 – August 1, 2021

Registration Opens: 01/01/21 – 07/08/21

Prize Money: $25K

New Jersey Open Pickleball Championships

August 12 – 15, 2021

Registration: 5/6/21 – 7/29/21

Prize Money: $25K

Philadelphia Pickleball Open

August 26 – 29, 2021

Registration Ends: 8/14/21

Prize Money: $15K

Amateur Players Only

Chicago Pickleball Open

September 2 – 5, 2021

Registration Opens: 4/16/21 – 8/18/21

Prize Money: $35K

Atlanta Metro Pickleball Open

September 15 – 19, 2021

(Golden Ticket Tournament)

Registration Opens: 6/28 – 8/31/21

Prize Money: $60K

Las Vegas Metro Pickleball Open 

October 6 – 10, 2021

Registration: 7/5/21 – 9/22/21

Prize Money: $40K

Hilton Head Pickleball open

October 13 – 17, 2021

(Golden Ticket Tournament)

Registration Opens: TBA

Prize Money: $60K

Casa Grande Pickleball Open

December 2 – 5, 2021

Registration Opens: TBA

Prize Money: $55K

World Pickleball Open

PGA Village Verano World Pickleball Open (Port St. Lucie)

December 9 – 12, 2021

Registration Opens: 08/04/21 – 11/18/21

Prize Money: $25K

APP BOCA RATON International MASTERS

PGA Village Verano World Pickleball Open (Port St. Lucie)

December 9 – 12, 2021

Registration Opens: 08/04/21 – 11/18/21

Prize Money: $25K

Pickleball Equipments 

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